The production of bio-based chemicals is not new. Current global bio-based chemicals are estimated to be around 50 million tons. From a technical point of view, almost all industrial materials made from fossil resources can be substituted by their bio-based counterparts. However, the cost of bio-based production in many cases exceeds the cost of petrochemical production. And new products must demonstrate that they can perform at least as good as the petrochemical equivalent they are substituting, as well as generate a lower environmental impact. Crude oil’s low price operated as a barrier to bio-based commodity chemical production; and producers have focussed on the specific attributes of bio-based chemicals such as their complex structure to justify production costs.
Consumer demand for environmentally friendly products along with population growth and limited supplies of non-renewable resources have now opened new windows of opportunity for bio-based chemicals and polymers. The industry is now viewing chemical production from renewable resources as an attractive investment area. In this sense, the attractiveness of ADRESS is that the application of process intensification techniques will be developed (a topic that has not been studied extensively in the bioprocess area so far) to allow in the generation of clean, efficient and economical processes for bio-based chemical blocks to be produced in a competitive way in the market.
Vázquez – Castillo, J.A., Contreras – Zarazúa, G., Segovia – Hernández, J.G., Kiss, A.A., 2019, Optimally Designed Reactive Distillation Processes for Eco-Efficient Production of Ethyl Levulinate, Journal of Chemical Technology & Biotechnology, 94, 2131 – 2140.